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    Back to Vegetable Gardening    |   Beans - Dried

Beans -Dried - (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Including: pinto, navy, kidney, black-eyed, garbanzo, adzuki, hyacinth, mung beans


Zones 4 and warmer

Use quick-maturing cultivars in colder areas

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Full sun

Well-drained; pH 6.0 to 7.0

Regular water, keep soil evenly moist

3 inches (7.5) apart


When pods are completely dry and beans can hardly be dented when bitten

Planting Site: Full sun with good air circulation.

Planting & Growing Guidelines: Sow seed after any danger of frost has passed, and when the soil has warmed to at least 60° F (16° C). Plant 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep and 3 inches (7.5) apart in single or double rows. Cultivate shallowly until the plants are large enough to shade out weeds. Mulch between rows to help prevent pods from rotting if they touch they ground. Moisture is critical when the plants are in flower. When pods begin to mature, withhold water to help with drying.

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    Fertilizing: All legumes, such as beans and peas, are self-fertilizing. In fact, they leave more nitrogen in the soil than they use up. So they really don't need to be fertilized, but what you can do is give them a boost with some "innoculant" (available at any garden center) which helps the plants fix nitrogen in their roots.

    Pest and Disease Prevention: Provide good air circulation to help prevent blights, mosaic disease, and anthracnose. To avoid spreading rust, do not disturb plants when foliage is wet. Till under all plant debris in the fall to destroy any disease organisms, and do not plant beans or any other legumes in the same place more than once every 3 years.

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                                Proper Crop Rotation

    Common Problems: Damp weather that comes along late in the season, when pods are maturing, can encourage beans to sprout in the pod. Pull plants when most of the foliage has died and hang by the roots in well-ventilated place to finish completely drying.

    Days to Maturity: 90 to 150 frost-free days, depending upon the variety. The most popular cultivars are quick-maturing beans that can be harvested in 100 days or less.

    Harvest and Storage: Harvest when the bean pods are completely dry and beans can barely be dented when bitten. Shell pods individually or thresh them by putting them in an old pillowcase and walking on it until the pods are completely crushed. Remove the chaff by pouring the beans back and forth between two bowls in a windy, or breezy, area, or in front of a fan. Store in air-tight jars or bags in a dry, cool place.

    Special Tips: To avoid any potential problems with weevils, freeze the well-dried beans for several hours before storing.

    The Dried Bean information above applies to the following beans:

    Adzuki Bean (Vigna angularis) - Small, dark red beans of Japanese origin. Highly valued for their protein content.

    Black Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) - Sometimes called turtle bean or turtle soup bean, the black bean is very popular in Caribbean and Latin American recipies. Beans are small and a very dark, shiny black.

    Black-Eyed Bean (Vigna unguiculata) - Also called black-eyed pea, this warm-region bean is a favorite of many and related to the asparagus bean, but is grown for its seed rather than its pod. They are round, off-white beans marked with black. This bean grows best in Zones 7 or warmer.

    Garbanzo Bean (Cicer arietinum) - Also called chickpea, this bean is large, round, and buff-colored and is native to southern Europe and India where it is eaten boiled or roasted, or used in hummus. This bean needs a long growing season of 120 days or more.

    Hyacinth Bean (Dolichos lablab) - This is a fast growing, vining plant that is grown for both its pods and its seeds. It is a perennial in warm climates, but can also be grown in cooler areas as an annual. Its flowers look like wisteria and are quite ornamental, the seeds can be dried and eaten like beans.

    Kidney Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) - A large dried bean with the characterisitc kidney shape. Not always dark red. They also come in white, brown, yellow, black and mottled.

    Navy Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) - A smaller kidney bean, a white bean that is popular in short-season areas.

    Mung Bean (Vigna radiata) - The seeds are often sprouted for use as bean sprouts, but are also edible as dry beans. The pods can also be eaten when young and immature.

    Pinto Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) - The pinto bean is an oval, medium-sized bean, usually mottled on a beige background. It has good heat and drought resistance making it a favorite in arid, dry areas. It's the bean normally used in Mexican cooking. They can be used either fresh or dried.

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